When both temperature and humidity are high, humans can experience considerable heat stress. In the U.S., extreme heat may have greater impact on human health, especially among the elderly, than any other type of severe weather.
This online resource provides links to several NOAA online severe weather databases, including the Storm Events Database and the Severe Weather Data Inventory. These databases provide online access to files for storm and hurricane data in commonly used formats, such as shapefiles for GIS applications, KMZ for Google Earth, comma-separated values, and extensible markup language (XML).
This tool was developed to improve understanding of changes in extreme climate conditions by giving users an ability to examine trends and occurrences of certain types of extreme or threshold events at a station-by-station level. It currently provides data and analysis for eight indices that have been defined by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). An interactive map allows users to select a month, season, or specific year (from 1955 to present) to view a snapshot of values for a specific index across North America.
The Climate Extremes Index charts the occurrence of specific extreme events in the United States from 1910 to present. In most cases, extreme events are defined as being in the outermost (“most unusual”) ten percent of a place’s history. Extreme event indicators tracked include monthly maximum and minimum temperature, daily precipitation, drought severity index, and tropical storm wind velocity. Analyses are available at the national and regional levels.
This NOAA National Climatic Data Center tool allows users to look up record-setting events for a given day, month, or all time. Specifically, users can look for record highest minimum or maximum temperature, lowest min/max temperature, precipitation, or snowfall. This information is available for individual U.S. states, U.S. regions, and U.S. territories.
This video from ClimateCentral looks at the way climate conditions can affect vegetation in the West, and what influence this has on wildfires. Drought and rainfall can have very different wildfire outcomes, depending on vegetation type, extent, and location.
With this simulation from the NASA Climate website, learners explore different examples of how ice is melting due to climate change in four places where large quantities of ice are found. The photo comparisons, graphs, animations, and especially the time lapse video clips of glaciers receding are astonishing and dramatic.
This short video clip summarizes NOAA's annual State of the Climate Report for 2009. It presents a comprehensive summary of Earth's climate in 2009 and establishes the last decade as the warmest on record. Reduced extent of Arctic sea ice, glacier volume, and snow cover reflect the effects of rising global temperature.
This video explores the work of environmentalist John Hart, a Professor of Environmental Science at U.C. Berkley. In the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Dr. Hart has established an experimental laboratory in which he has artificially created and maintained a 3-degree increase in surface temperature of a plot of land, and documented the impact on plant species occupying the plot.